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Abuse victim who was handed £175,000 compensation is ordered to give his ex-wife £100,000 .

His ex-wife claims she needs the money to support herself and her two children.

I have recently dealt with two very similar matters.This is a common occurrence in cases where funds  have to be shared to meet both parties needs.

If you are in a similar situation and need advice then contact me on 0845 2746868


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Andrew Kerslake was given £175,000 compensation for suffering sexual abuse, his ex-wife demanded a share of the fund, saying it was a marital asset
Cohabitation: Know Your Rights

The situation that the woman in this piece finds herself in is frightening, but sadly not all that unusual. 

Many couples believe that living together gives them similar legal rights and obligations to married couples in the event that the relationship breaks down. This is often referred to as 'common law marriage'. 

Unfortunately, the reality is that there is no such thing as 'common law marriage' in English law and that cohabitees have far fewer rights and protections than spouses. 

You will be entitled to monthly child maintenance payments if your children are going to spend the majority of the time living with you and your former partner is able to pay. If your former partner has capital wealth, you may also be entitled to a share of it if you can show that you need it to ensure that your children are properly provided for. Where you and/or your former partner own a property, what share of it you are entitled to will depend on how it is owned, and possibly also how it was paid for and what contributions you have each made, and this can be complex to resolve. 

If you are living with a partner and you are worried that the relationship may be ending, or if you have recently separated, it is important to take legal advice and find out where you stand.    

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I have thrown out my abusive partner, but he is poisoning our children against me
Phil Collins' daughter and the impact of divorce on children

Lily Collins, daughter of the former Genesis frontman Phil Collins, has spoken publicly about how the divorce of her own parents (and step mother and father) have had long term impact on her mental and physical health.  This includes Lily becoming anorexic in her teenage years.

It surprises me how often parents can overlook the impact on their children of the way they deal with their divorce. Children will mask many of their feelings to avoid upsetting a parent, but can regularly recall the communications and behaviours they have witnessed between their parents during divorce and following it which have an impact on their own relationships and physical, emotional and mental health.

Finding a way to divorce with the children's wellbeing as the parent's focus is vitally important for the children and the adults involved, regardless of their ages or how little it appears to be impacting them at the time.

Collaborative Law and Mediation can offer a method to resolve family disputes as amicably as possible, and with focus on the children, which both parents would normally agree is their priority.

If you would like to know more about mediation or collaborative law this can be found at the below links, or feel free to give me a call to discuss it (01865 781182, Claire.Colbert@freeths.co.uk)

http://www.freethsoxford.co.uk/mediation http://www.freethsoxford.co.uk/collaborative_practice 


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She believes her own battle began due to stress at school and the emotional turmoil when her father divorced Lily's stepmother, his third wife Orianne, in 2008.'There was a terrible disconnect that grew between us,' she later explained. 'Many of my deepest insecurities stem from my issues with my dad.'It brought back memories of Collins' bitter break-up with Lily's mother, his American second wife Jill Tavelman, in 1996, when Lily was seven years old. It was widely reported that the first Jill knew of the 12-year marriage being over was when he told her by fax, although Collins has since denied this.
£100,000 per day legal costs?

The headline to this article has stirred great interest.  A bitter divorce resulting in three weeks at court has resulted in this couple each having incurred legal costs of over £5million.  This will include the costs of the lawyers, barristers and  experts. 

Clearly the assets in dispute are able to cover this cost, but within the article there is reference to the impact this dispute has had on the adult children.  Although the Judge has not authorised all of the details of the case to be released, it is clear that the adult children are also part of the litigation and have their own legal teams involved as well. This is quite unusual but may be because they are involved in the business or own a share of the assets themselves.  The structure of the settlement will clearly have an impact on them, for the court to have allowed them to be involved in the litigation.  In normal circumstances adult (non-dependant) children who may inherit assets at some point in the future would not be a factor the case would take into account.

The damage that is likely to have been (and will be) incurred to those family relationships is a cost that cannot be quantified.  Any cases reported such as this highlight the advantages of mediation, collaborative law and arbitration.  More details can be found at: www.freethsoxford.co.uk/how_do_i_resolve_financial_issues

If you would like more details about alternative dispute resolution please call me on 01865 781182 or email me- Claire.colbert@freeths.co.uk

 

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The Norwegian businessman who launched Viking Cruises and his estranged wife are fighting over money at a London divorce court and have run up the best part of £10 million in lawyers' bills, a judge has been told.Torstein Hagen's battle with Ellen-Karine Hagen in the Family Division of the High Court is costing the best part of £100,000 a day in legal fees, Mrs Justice Roberts has heard.
Man wins equal pension rights for his husband at supreme court

Landmark ruling means former cavalry officer’s husband will enjoy the same pension rights as a widow would.

The judges’ decision was based on an EU framework directive from 2000 guaranteeing gender equality under employment law. An employment appeal tribunal and the court of appeal had previously declared that the 2010 Equality Act permitted firms to restrict benefits generated by periods of service before 2005.

We are very experienced at dealing with all issues involving pensions and we have some excellent pension experts that we work with so please do contact us if we assist you or anyone you know with issues involving pensions on separation and divorce.

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A gay former cavalry officer has won a legal battle to provide his husband with equal pension rights in a landmark discrimination case at the supreme court.

The unanimous judgment, which could benefit thousands of couples, will ensure that should John Walker die first, his partner will have access to an income of about £45,000 a year for life. It may also impose unexpected liabilities on pension funds.
Rebecca Adlington opens up on why she thinks her marriage failed after just 18 months

It is refreshing to see someone in the public eye give an honest account of the reasons she feels her marriage ended, and brave of Rebecca to do so.

Every relationship is different and if a couple separates there can be many reasons for this decision.

English law requires someone seeking a divorce to have been married for more than one year and to feel that the marriage has irretrievably broken down with no prospect of reconciliation.  They then have to show that their reasons for divorce fall within one of five 'facts', namely:


Adultery
Behaviour
Separation for 2 years (with consent)
•  Desertion for 2 years
 Separation for 5 years (without consent)

Whilst we wait for any change in the law to introduce 'no fault' divorce, I find that many clients choose to use the fact of behaviour, because in the absence of adultery they would otherwise have to wait for 2 years, and they do not want to wait that long for the certainty of a final binding order dealing with the couple's financial claims against each other.

I've seen a whole range of divorce petitions drafted by other lawyers and/or parties representing themselves on the basis of behaviour.  These range from vicious character assassinations that creates unnecessary acrimony to weak one sentence particulars that the judge will not approve.  At these extremes these petitions cause additional costs for the parties in terms of time and legal fees, which could have been avoided.

In my experience a well drafted petition, which covers the necessary points with an appropriate level of detail,  in most cases will start the proceedings in a constructive way, which can then be built upon when dealing with finances and the arrangements for any children.   The petition itself is not going to modify the other person's behaviour, and there are other ways of addressing that. 

Ultimately my client wants a divorce, and I have found that this approach can save them costs, both emotionally and financially.

If you or someone you know would appreciate some further advice about starting divorce proceedings and the options available please do contact me on 01865 781115 or gemma.nicholls-webber@freeths.co.uk.

There is more information available on our website as well at http://www.freeths.co.uk/how-to-get-a-divorce 

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 Olympic swimming champ Rebecca Adlington has opened her heart about her failed marriage to a man who “idolised” her ­status. 

TV pundit Rebecca, 28, wed long-term boyfriend Harry Needs, 25, in 2014 but 18 months later they separated.

Now the swimmer who won two golds at Beijing in 2008 is questioning his motives for marriage.
The use of MacKenzie friends by litigants in person

This is a very useful judgement in that it reminds us of what a MacKenzie friend can and cannot do - particular these days when there are more and more litigants in person

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H (Children : exclusion of Mackenzie friend) [2017] EWFC B31JudgmentPublished: 29/06/2017TopicsLitigants in PersonShare thisBookmark thisMake a noteAdd to competence recordLegal Materials Copyright Statement & DisclaimerAppeal by mother against decision to refuse to allow her chosen McKenzie Friend to participate in proceedings. Appeal dismissed. The judgment contains a useful review of the legal framework surrounding McKenzie Friends in family cases.
Want to move with your children?

Moving house would seem to be a fairly straightforward decision for most of us. Although the costs, stress of moving and energy involved put many of us off, the attraction of new homes, new locations and new jobs can outweigh the negatives.


Additional stress can be created if you have children with a previous partner. In this situation if you are moving area, town, county or country you should notify the other parent and seek their agreement to the move. Any parent that has parental responsibility for the children will need to agree to the move. If they do not agree, you can apply to the court for a "Specific Issue" order seeking the court's permission for you to relocate. If you do not apply to the court, the other parent may apply for a "Prohibited Steps" order, preventing you from moving until the court have reviewed all of the issues and determined if the move is in the children's best interests.


These applications can be complex and require detailed plans and explanations. More information can be found at www.freethsoxford.co.uk/taking_a_child_abroad


The article from South Africa highlights how different countries view these type of applications. It is important that you always seek advice from a specialist family lawyer in the current jurisdiction, to ensure the best advice as this article shows how differently applications are dealt with in South Africa.


Should you have any questions, or need any assistance on this or any other family law issue, please do not hesitate to call.

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Section 18 makes it clear that if one parent wants to emigrate outside of South Africa the consent of both parents is needed.For relocation within South Africa, the situation is less well-defined.In the absence of legislative controls, decisions coming before the courts have been decided on a case-by-case basis, and case law is now brought to bear in new court hearings on the matter.
Multimillionaire stockbroker is trying to use Scottish Law to keep his divorce payout to a minimum
  • Charles Alastair Hyde Villiers split from wife Emma Mary Jane Villiers  in 2012
  •  They lived in Scottish manor but following separation she moved to London 
  • He filed for divorce in Scotland in 2014 but three months later she applied to the English courts for £10,000-a-month maintenance for her and daughter
  • He was ordered to pay £5,500-a-month but is now challenging that ruling, insisting that an English judge had no right to intervene in a Scottish divorce.


This is an interesting case about how the court should deal with divorces in different jurisdictions. In this case it is England and Scotland. We have other cases where it is England and different European countries. These types of cases require experience and a good legal team who can act swiftly, filing papers with the court the very same day instructions are received from a client.  

If any of the issues in this article are relevant to you call us so we can explain what you need to do to protect your legal position. Telephone - 0845 128 6960.


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An English aristocrat who is related to the Duchess of Cornwall wants to use Scottish divorce law to cut his wife out of a share of his £5million family fortune.

Car breakdown insurance costs more following marriage breakdown?

I have heard of life insurance costing more following divorce, I presume linked to the health data that has been produced in recent years.


I was however very surprised to read this morning, that a change in marital status can effect your car breakdown insurance! It is unclear why, or what data this is based on, but is important that this additional cost is known.


In many divorces time is spent by clients and lawyers assessing the assets, income and needs of both parties. This includes the income needs and potential claims for spousal maintenance. Knowing such a big rise in car breakdown insurance is a risk, is important when calculating that budgets and affordability for parties following divorce and separation of their assets.


This issues can be discussed at mediation, through solicitors or through a court application if necessary. More information about the options to resolve financial issues can be found at http://www.freethsoxford.co.uk/how_do_i_resolve_financial_issues


If you have any queries or questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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When we approached the RAC we received mixed messages. Initially it said all insurers would revise their calculations based on the change in relationship status of the named driver from spouse to additional driver.
My week at court....

For the last 18months I have been working on a case that has just reached its conclusion. Despite attempts to negotiate, and as mediation was not suitable, the court process was needed, leading us to a final hearing that started this week.

The nature of the dispute was such that there were numerous experts dealing with valuations of land, farming issues, assets, tax and businesses.  The issues included what was "fair", how the court would treat inherited assets and the extent to which each parties needs would be met. The level of complexity required the court to fix a 5 day final court hearing to determine the final order.

My preference is to always reach an agreement for clients without the stress and cost court hearings incur them, but where this is not possible, time is well spent in preparing the evidence to support your case in anticipation of a judge reviewing this at a final hearing.

I had expected to be at court all week, and was prepared to present my client's case on this basis. In fact what happened was a negotiated settlement by day 2, which has avoiding the risk associated with litigation. In some cases the cost of pursuing a dispute to a final hearing is disproportionate, but even at this late stage for my client, the total legal costs incurred were significantly less than the cost of the settlement the other side were seeking. As a result my client has a fair negotiated settlement saving them many hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The family team at Freeths are always keen to provide cost proportionate options to help fair resolution be achieved, and in some situations that will include a court application.

Should you need any help or advice about any issues raised in this article, please do not hesitate to contact me; Claire.colbert@freeths.co.uk or on 01865 781182.

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The focus for the court will be achieving a fair settlement which depends on the individual circumstances of each case. The main piece of legislation in this area is the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 which sets out the facts to be considered in deciding what is fair
£100,000 per day legal costs?

The headline to this article has stirred great interest.  A bitter divorce resulting in three weeks at court has resulted in this couple each having incurred legal costs of over £5million.  This will include the costs of the lawyers, barristers and  experts. 

Clearly the assets in dispute are able to cover this cost, but within the article there is reference to the impact this dispute has had on the adult children.  Although the Judge has not authorised all of the details of the case to be released, it is clear that the adult children are also part of the litigation and have their own legal teams involved as well. This is quite unusual but may be because they are involved in the business or own a share of the assets themselves.  The structure of the settlement will clearly have an impact on them, for the court to have allowed them to be involved in the litigation.  In normal circumstances adult (non-dependant) children who may inherit assets at some point in the future would not be a factor the case would take into account.

The damage that is likely to have been (and will be) incurred to those family relationships is a cost that cannot be quantified.  Any cases reported such as this highlight the advantages of mediation, collaborative law and arbitration.  More details can be found at www.freethsoxford.co.uk/how_do_i_resolve_financial_issues  

If you would like more details about alternative dispute resolution please call me on 01865 781182 or email me- Claire.colbert@freeths.co.uk

 

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The Norwegian businessman who launched Viking Cruises and his estranged wife are fighting over money at a London divorce court and have run up the best part of £10 million in lawyers' bills, a judge has been told.Torstein Hagen's battle with Ellen-Karine Hagen in the Family Division of the High Court is costing the best part of £100,000 a day in legal fees, Mrs Justice Roberts has heard.
£500m divorce market an ‘untapped’ opportunity for UK advisers

People going through divorce and separation are “crying out” for specialist financial advisers, according to a new report by the UK’s Personal Finance Society (PFS).

We always involve financial advisers in our cases where they will add value for our clients. We have invested a lot of time into choosing a panel of advisers who are experts in their field so that you know that if we deal with your divorce we will have the best team on your side.

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The report, compiled in conjunction with Resolution, which represents 6,500 family justice professionals, found that there is a growing need for specialist financial advisers in the divorce and separation market, estimated at £500m each year. There are currently just 42 financial advice specialists accredited in family law, said the report.
Sharing principle found unfair in latest short marriage case after wife earns bonuses of £10.5m

The Court of Appeal has significantly changed the way the law applies to division of a couple's finances where they divorce after a short marriage in this latest case, Sharp v Sharp (2107) EWCA Civ 408.

The parties started their 4 year marriage with similar careers but whilst Julie Sharp went on to earn bonuses totaling £10.5m, her husband Robin Sharp took voluntary redundancy and project managed renovations to one of their jointly owned properties.

Before this case the expectation has been for equal sharing of assets to be the starting point, following cases such as White v White (2001) 1 AC 596 and Miller v Miller (2006) UKHL 24.

In certain circumstances, assets owned before the marriage can be excluded from equal sharing of remaining resources.  This was an arrangement that had already been agreed between the parties in this case, which left £5.45m for division. 

The original judge ordered that Mr Sharp receive half of that balance,  awarding him £2.725m. Mrs Sharp has now successfully appealed this, and the Court of Appeal have reduced Mr Sharp's share to £2m.

The key factors taken into account by the Court of Appeal were: the length of the marriage was short; they had no children; they both had similar careers at the start of the marriage; and, crucially, they kept their financial resources very separate during their marriage.  These factors meant that the court felt a departure from equality was fair in this case.

It is worth noting that the factors did not include Mr Sharp's extra-marital affair, even though the Daily Mail suggests this was relevant.  Typically, the reasons for a divorce are not carried into the division of finances except in certain circumstances (for example when one spouse has committed fraud or has hidden assets).

Although the result will be welcome from Mrs Sharp's point of view, the judgment leaves open a number of questions, and one in particular: how long a marriage can be for it to be labelled a "short marriage".  It also relaxes the concept that the contributions of a breadwinner and a homemaker are equally recognised by the court in short marriage cases.  All the court said in Sharp is that the principle of equality will still apply in the majority of marriages.

As lawyers, we like clarity.  Lord Justice McFarlane, in giving the leading judgment, stressed the importance of having sound legal principles.  This is the first time the principle of equal sharing on a short marriage has been tested since Miller, and, given this significant change, we can expect more challenges to follow before we we have answers to the outstanding questions.

However, what is certain is that Mrs Sharp will still have to pay £80,000 towards Mr Sharp's bill of £200,000, on top of her own costs.  

These costs show the value of agreeing intentions about what would happen on any separation with a view to avoiding this level of litigation in future.  This can be done before marriage (a pre-nuptial agreement) or alternatively during the marriage (a post-nuptial agreement).  In this case, obvious triggers for a post-nuptial agreement would include the size of bonuses that started to appear and/or when Mr Sharp left his employment.

For more information about pre-nups or post-nups see our guide at http://www.freethsoxford.co.uk/prenups 

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Cheating husband whose City trader wife made an 'eye-watering' £10.5m in bonuses in five years has his divorce payout slashed by £725,000 after he admits affair
Robin Sharp was not entitled to equal share of ex-wife's fortune, judges rule
It is a departure from usual rule that marital assets are split 50/50 in divorce
Judges ruled £2m slice of £5.45m family fortune was all Mr Sharp deserved
Mrs Sharp gave her husband expensive gifts including 'lavish' Aston Martin 
£5,000 fine for branding the other side a 'fisherwoman' in divorce/financial proceedings

The number of litigants in person are on the rise. The temptation to engage in heated exchanges with one such litigant proved too much for this Chelsea based senior law firm partner, who has been fined £5,000 for his comments.

It is very easy for email exchanges to escalate, and looking at the comments on a personal level you can imagine how this happened.  In a series of emails, he calls the ex-wife a liar, accuses her of addressing the judge like a fisherwoman, and threatens to call the police.

As an experienced family specialist I know that that these types of exchanges will help no one, not least the  client who is essentially paying for the exchange. 

It is a good example of a lawyer from another field 'dabbling' in family law. This was a commercial and property lawyer representing a client during court proceedings following a divorce in respect of arrangements for the children (called contact in this article, which is an old term) and financial support.

I have had to deal with plenty of litigants in person.  I find that by communicating with them on a professional level and phrasing my emails appropriately, I can firmly protect my client's position whilst still keeping the litigant's level of distrust and acrimony to a minimum.  

This ultimately benefits my client as it means that we can focus on resolving the key issues, rather than allowing minor issues or personal disputes to flare up, saving time and costs.



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A senior law firm partner has been slapped with a £5,000 fine after he, among other things, accused a litigant-in-person of arguing with a judge “like a fisherwoman”.

Stefano Lucatello — a solicitor at Chelsea-based outfit Kobalt Law — was representing a client in matrimonial proceedings against his ex-wife, the specifics of which related to child contact and financial support.
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